Mar 16 2023
Levelling Up? The impact on arts and culture in our regions

National Development Event Series

Join us on Zoom on Thursday 16 March at 1pm for a panel discussion on what “Levelling Up” means to arts and culture and how it impacts professionals in the sector.

“Levelling Up” is a political policy first articulated in the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto that aims to reduce the imbalances, primarily economic, between areas and social groups across the United Kingdom.

We are delighted to be joined by Kate Brindley, Abi Gilmore (Senior Lecturer, Arts Management & Cultural Policy, University of Manchester), Lucy Thomson-Smith (Cultural Economy Development Manager, Cheshire East Council) and more to be confirmed to deep dive into the current research, myths and projects around “Levelling Up” in Britain. We will look at how this term was translated through the Arts Council England 2023-2026 Investment Programme and what it means for arts and cultural fundraisers across the UK.

Don’t miss out on what promises to be an exciting conversation and book your free spot now!


About the panel

Kate Brindley 
Project Director for Arts, Culture & Heritage, South Yorkshire Combined Authority

Kate Brindley is Project Director for Arts, Culture & Heritage at South Yorkshire Combined Authority. Kate is a respected leader with over 28 years of experience in the arts, heritage and museums sectors including previously Director of Collections & Exhibitions at Chatsworth House Trust and Lismore Castle Arts, Director of Arnolfini in Bristol and Advisor to Arts Programme Committee at Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Kate’s career has been characterised by international calibre programme delivery, coupled with highly developed senior leadership in local government and charity sectors.

Abi Gilmore 
Senior Lecturer, Arts Management & Cultural Policy, University of Manchester

Dr. Abi Gilmore is Senior Lecturer in Arts Management and Cultural Policy and part of the Institute for Cultural Practices at University of Manchester. Her research concerns the organisation of local cultural policy, management and participation and involves collaborative initiatives with cultural partners to inform teaching, knowledge exchange and public engagement. Current research projects include Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Connected Communities ‘Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Values’; AHRC Research Network Beyond the Campus: Higher Education and the Creative Economy, Mapping Music Histories (an AHRC Cultural Engagement project) and the N8 Research Partnership AHRC project, ‘New Thinking from the North’.

Lucy Thomson-Smith
Culture Economy Development Manager, Cheshire East Council

Lucy is a Cultural Economy Development Manager for Cheshire East Borough Council. Her role as part of the visitor economy team helps to build and strengthen partnerships, develop strategy and support cultural framework, to help benefit the cultural development of Cheshire East. This includes developing the Crewe and Macclesfield Cultural Forums and setting up a new Local Cultural Education Partnership. Her background is in creative education, having previously set up the Creative Learning and Engagement department at the Crewe Lyceum Theatre, worked for Opera North education, Konflux Theatre in Education company, and worked in outreach in a further education college.

She is a fellow of Arts Council funded leadership programme, Create Place and is also a new governor at a local primary school.

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